The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) issued a press release criticizing Ford Motor Company for what the group calls a "gross misrepresentation of the truth" in a video released earlier this month. Ford’s consumer-aimed video showcased crash tests and other demonstrations calling into question the safety of aftermarket parts. The ABPA says it will challenge the company’s false assertions by undertaking additional testing of Ford components and making its findings public.
The Ford video asserts that genuine Ford collision replacement parts are the same as those used to manufacture the vehicle, but ABPA claims this is false.
During tests conducted by ABPA engineers, the group says front bumper isolators were removed from two 2005-2009 Ford Mustangs and compared with two Ford-branded front bumper isolator service parts purchased from Ford dealers. The ABPA says its exam revealed the Ford service parts were approximately one-fourth the weight. According to ABPA engineers, production parts from the two vehicles weighed 864 and 822 grams respectively, while two genuine Ford collision replacement parts for the exact component were 72 percent lighter at 239 and 233 grams.
"On behalf of the aftermarket industry, I want to thank Ford for proving what we have said for years, which is that replacement parts can vary from the original equipment parts installed in production while still providing comparable performance and returning vehicles to pre-crash condition," said ABPA Legislation and Regulation Committee Co-Chair Eileen A. Sottile. "If that were not the case, then why would Ford’s customers receive these replacement parts?"
"The huge weight discrepancies between production and service parts clearly underscore that the original Ford components that come on its vehicles and those Ford-branded parts sold for collision repair are not ‘the same,’ as they have claimed," Sottile added.
The ABPA says its engineers are reviewing the recent Ford video, undertaking additional testing and planning to make their technical assessments public.
The ABPA recently released a video that it says illustrates the safety and quality of aftermarket auto parts. The video showcases actual high- and low-speed crash tests, and its conclusions are based upon the crash tests as well as lump mass modeling simulations and quasi-static crush tests designed by engineers with extensive experience in automotive safety systems, ABPA says.
In low-speed crash tests presented in the video, ABPA demonstrates how an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar outperforms an equivalent OEM part, effectively absorbing impact without deployment of airbags while sustaining less damage that results in a $200 lower repair estimate.